All eight crew on board an Ilyushin Il-76TD freighter were killed when the aircraft crashed into Lake Victoria last week soon after take-off from Mwanza, Tanzania, on the lake's southern shore. This was the second freighter crash in the lake within a week.

The 21-year-old freighter (ER-IBR), operated by Moldovan airline Air Transport Incorporated, took off on 23 March bound for Osijek, Croatia, via Khartoum, Sudan and Benghazi, Libya carrying 50t of fish. Although the CIS Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) has confirmed the incident, all it will add is that representatives from Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Uzbekistan will take part in the accident investigation.

On 19 March a Cargo Plus Aviation Boeing 707-300 freighter crashed into Lake Victoria on approach to runway 17 at Entebbe, Uganda on the lake's northern shore (Flight International, 29 March - 4 April). The aircraft broke up, but the crew of five survived.

Mwanza saw its previous large cargo aircraft crash when, in February 2000, a Trans Arabian Air Transport 707-300F crashed into the lake on final approach to the airport. Although written off, the aircraft did not break up and the crew of five survived.

* On 26 March a West Caribbean Airways Let L-410 twin turboprop crashed into a low hill in its early climb out of Providencia airport, Old Providence Island in the Caribbean. Local aviation sources say the aircraft (HK-4146X) appeared to be struggling to climb, and suggest its engines might not have been developing enough power.

An official from the Colombian aviation authority has told the local press that there was a technical problem. Both pilots and six of the 12 passengers were killed. West Caribbean is a Medellin, Colombia-based carrier that also operates ATR 42s and Boeing MD-80s.


Source: Flight International